If you would prefer to talk to an expert about your specific work-in-process or materials tracking problem, please click on the [Contact Us] button below to contact us by phone or Email.
Also, if you are confused about what to call things, such as the difference between tracking work-in-process and WIP inventory tracking, please see our Materials Tracking Definitions page.
Who is KnarrTek? KnarrTek assists manufacturers, distributors, and other industrial organizations to implement real-time materials and work-in-process tracking systems based on the use of the BellHawk® real-time work-in-process and materials tracking software, as well as supply-chain and enterprise information integration systems based on the use of the MilramX automated data exchange software platform.
What does KnarrTek provide? KnarrTek distributes and supports the BellHawk real-time barcode work-in-process and materials tracking software as well as the MilramX supply-chain and enterprise automated data exchange software. KnarrTek also provides expert services from its staff, who have in-depth experience gained in implementing many work-in-process and real-time materials tracking systems over the past decade.
Who are KnarrTek's Clients? KnarrTek's clients include manufacturers, industrial distributors, food and pharmaceutical processors, defense, construction, repair, and engineering organizations, as well as many other industrial organizations.
How does KnarrTek Deliver its Software? KnarrTek provides the BellHawk software on a software-as-a-service subscription basis on Windows Servers managed by KnarrTek at secure data centers in the USA. KnarrTek also sells and rents licenses to use BellHawk on client's own computers. Licenses to use the MilramX software are currently provided as part of supply-chain and enterprise information integration projects undertaken by KnarrTek for its clients.
What is Work-in-Process Tracking? In work-in-process tracking we track the receipt and put-away of raw materials, their transformation into intermediate materials and then finished products through a sequence of manufacturing or processing operations. In dong this, we may track the progress of a work-order for a customer job as it progresses from operation to operation . We may also track work-in-process materials as they move from work-center to work-center and are transformed from raw materials into finished products. This may include tracking work-in-process materials as they are tested, reworked and possibly scrapped as well as the picking, packing, labeling, and shipping of finished products to customers.
How Does the BellHawk software Track Work-in-Process Materials? BellHawk can track the progress of a batch of materials as it progresses through a sequence of manufacturing operations. BellHawk can also track work-in-process materials. In doing this, uses the same License-Plate-Number (LPN) container materials tracking methods as organizations such as Amazon, FedEx and UPS to track the movement of materials. These enable the tracking of the location of materials in great detail, along with tracking details about the contents of each container of materials. This same LPN method is used for tracking serialized items as well as tracking the contents of nested containers such as pallets. This is what is needed for tracking work-in-process materials, as opposed to simply tracking inventory.
What is the difference between LPN Materials Tracking and Inventory Tracking? In LPN materials tracking, the system tracks each individual container of materials or serialized item using a tracking barcode. This enables the tracking of materials by geographic location, lot number, expiration date, cost, quality control status, weight, size, and many other characteristics needed for work-in-process tracking. Inventory tracking is what accounting systems do to compute the value of the materials in stock. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and their associated WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) are typically item locator systems, which extend inventory tracking to track the quantity and value of materials by location
Can I use an LPN materials tracking system, such as BellHawk, to do Inventory Tracking? Yes. BellHawk can add-up the quantities and average cost of all the materials, which it tracks in its containers table, to provide real-time inventory reports. This inventory data can also be exported to ERP and accounting systems. Using BellHawk for inventory tracking gives all the operational benefits of real-time materials tracking combined with the use of technologies such as barcode scanning and mobile computing to ensure very high inventory accuracy.
Can I use BellHawk as a Warehouse Management System? Yes. BellHawk comes with a full set of features which enable its use as an industrial warehouse management system (WMS) including tracking the work-in-process in secondary operations such as kitting, assembly, repacking, relabeling, and distribution.
How does KnarrTek carry out Implementation Projects? KnarrTek works directly with the IT and operations staff of larger organizations and as a sub-contractor to systems integration organizations. KnarrTek also runs a reseller partner program for resellers of barcode equipment and systems integrators, which enables these organizations to sell complete turnkey systems. This includes the BellHawk software and the KnarrTek services which partners resell as part of their turnkey systems.
Who has used the BellHawk software? A wide range of industrial organizations, including machine shops, rolled materials converters, plastic injection molders, fabricators of building components, engineering and defense contractors, contract manufacturers and other assemblers of electromechanical systems, as well as repair, refurbishing and recycling organizations. In addition BellHawk has been used by a range of organizations that need to comply with FDA regulations including food and pharmaceutical processors, medical device and supplies manufacturers, and makers of veterinary products and natural supplements.
Who is the target audience for the BellHawk Online services? Small and mid-sized organizations, as well as departments within larger organizations, that are looking for an affordable "off-the shelf" solution that they can use in the Cloud without the need for their corporate IT organization to get involved or to pay large up-front fees for software and supporting services.
What about larger organizations? KnarrTek also sells or rents licenses to use the BellHawk software to the IT Departments of larger organizations for installation on their own Windows Server. These organizations often start out using the BellHawk Online service before transitioning the BellHawk software to their own data center.
What is the BellHawk software? The BellHawk software platform was developed by Milramco LLC, in collaboration with other partners, to provide a software platform to enable manufacturing and distribution organizations to rapidly implement customized work-in-process and materials tracking systems. KnarrTek is Milramco's sales and support organization for this software in North America . For full details about the BellHawk software platform, please see www.BellHawk.com.
What is the MilramX software? The MilramX software is a real-time automated data exchange software platform, which was developed by Milramco in collaboration with a number of partners, as a way to cut the cost and speed the development time for implementing automated information integration systems. For details about the MilramX software platform, please see www.MilramX.com.
What is the typical cost for using BellHawk? The BellHawk subscription/rental cost for most small to mid-sized manufacturers and distributors is under $1,000 per month.
What is the typical cost savings from using the BellHawk software? Typically clients save the equivalent of the cost of between one and three people at an average loaded labor cost of $5,000 per month per person by switching from using paper forms and manual keyboard data entry to using barcode scanning to track their materials and work-in-process.
What other benefits does using the BellHawk have? BellHawk enables clients to ensure that they get customer orders out on time, prevent operational mistakes, and to know the labor and materials cost of each job. In addition it captures materials traceability history data.
What about Support Services? KnarrTek and its partners offer a full range of supporting services but enable clients to save money by doing as much of the implementation work themselves as they have the capability to do.
What about barcode scanners and printers and mobile devices? BellHawk works with a wide range of Android based mobile devices, as well as with a wide range of 1D and 2D barcode scanners and barcode label printers. These are readily available from our partners or a wide range of other suppliers over the Internet.
What about preprinted rolls of license-plate number barcodes, as well as rack and floor stand barcode labels? We can make recommendations as to suppliers that can make these products to your specifications at an affordable price.
Should we use BellHawk Online or rent/purchase BellHawk for installation on our own Windows Server? If you are a small or medium sized organization without an in-house IT department then you should definitely use BellHawk Online. If you have an IT department and the need to integrate many custom reports into BellHawk, or closely integrate BellHawk with other on-site systems, or have specific IT requirements, such as for security, then you should consider renting or purchasing licenses to use the BellHawk software for installation on your own Windows Server. In either case, we usually recommend that clients start out by using our on-line shared hosting service in the Cloud to run their private BellHawk website and database.
Do we save money by renting the software rather than using BellHawk on your servers? KnarrTek provides a free shared hosting service, at a secure data center, on which smaller manufacturers and distributors can run the version of BellHawk, to which they have purchased a subscription. This is limited to users with less than 1,000 active work orders or 10,000 active containers plus serialized items being tracked to make sure that any one client does not "hog" the shared server and slow-down service for everyone else. Beyond this, clients can either pay KnarrTek for the use of a dedicated managed server in the Cloud or provide their own Windows server. In all cases the cost of the software subscription or rental is the same.
Do we save money by purchasing rather than renting licenses to use BellHawk? This depends. Purchasing a license to use BellHawk costs the same as 36 months of rental or on-line subscription costs but only includes one year of the software maintenance plan, which is included in subscriptions or rentals. For those organizations purchasing a license to use BellHawk, on a one-time payment basis, this maintenance plan is available, after the first year, for 20% of the cost of licenses purchased. Generally it makes sense to rent or subscribe to BellHawk unless there is just a one-time availability of a Capital Expense budget.
We are a large organization with our own IT staff. We need sophisticated real-time operations tracking and management capabilities. Can we save time and money by purchasing a source-code license to use the BellHawk software platform as the basis of implementing our own system? Yes, you can purchase a source code license to use the BellHawk software and MilramX platforms.
Can BellHawk Exchange Data with my ERP or Accounting System? BellHawk can exchange data with other systems using Excel spreadsheets or comma delimited files. The DEX automated data exchange interface provides a straight-forward method of exchanging data with BellHawk from other systems located on computers in a plant or data center. For more sophisticated automated data exchange applications then KnarrTek's staff can work with experts in the various systems which need to exchange information to implement robust information integration solutions, based on the use of the MilramX software platform.
Can BellHawk import data from my CAD system? BellHawk can import files in .CSV or Excel formats from a variety of CAD systems through the DEX interface.
If we start using BellHawk Online on a subscription basis, can we transition to running BellHawk on our own Windows Server? Yes, each BellHawk Online client gets their own website and database that can easily be transitioned, in future, to use their own server.
How reliable is the BellHawk Online Service? BellHawk Online is run at a secure data center in the USA which has a very high uptime. We also take precautions, such as taking nightly backups of each client's data and storing this in the Cloud so as to facilitate rapid disaster recovery.
What if the Internet goes down and we depend on BellHawk Online? This is always a risk factor, especially if the Internet is accessed over a cable strung on utility poles. But often, the same poles carry the electricity to the plant or warehouse. If a pole comes down or a tree falls over the wires both go out, and with it the operation of the plant. As a result, the risk has not been increased by using the Internet to manage plant operations.
What if we want our BellHawk instance customized? This is a paid service provided by KnarrTek's technical staff and its partners. Except in simple cases, these customizations start with a design phase to clearly document the changes requested and to provide an accurate estimate of the cost
What if we want to develop our own custom reports from the BellHawk data? We recommend using the DEX interface to automatically extract the needed data from the BellHawk database. Custom reports can then be created using tools such as Excel, Access, Crystal Reports, and SSRS using data from tables in the DEX database.
Do you sell the needed equipment of supplies? No. BellHawk works "out-of-the-box" with a wide-range of Android based mobile devices, as well as with Windows, IOS, and Unix based tablets and PCs. It also works with a wide range of barcode scanners and printers. These, along with needed supplies and custom barcode labels, can be ordered from our partners or simply purchased over the Internet. Please ask us for a recommendation.
Do you make on-site sales calls? All client engagements start out remotely with the gathering of information over the Internet. If it is determined that an on-site visit by a member of KnarrTek's staff is needed to gather more information, in order to prepare a systems design and budgetary proposal, then these are carried out as a client-funded design phase. Alternately KnarrTek may refer the opportunity to a local partner who can make an on-site sales call. These days we find that we can save a lot of time and money by using on-line meeting technology. We often start by having a prospective user of BellHawk send us a written description of their tracking issues, along with photos and videos of their operation (under a non-disclosure agreement, if needed). From this we can quickly develop a proposal for a recommended solution to the prospective client's tracking problem, along with an estimated cost.
Do you arrange for visits to other users of the BellHawk software so we can see it in operation? Regretfully no. Our clients are all way too busy running their own businesses to host site visits. Many also have health and security concerns about hosting visitors. We provide an extensive set of training materials on-line for prospective clients to educate themselves.
Do you provide lists of References? No, we jealously guard our clients' privacy. But, where appropriate, once a prospective user of BellHawk has decided that BellHawk is an appropriate solution for them and is simply doing final due diligence, we can arrange a telephone call with an existing user of the BellHawk software for an exchange of information.
Do you offer monthly subscription payments? Yes, but only with credit cards, on a recurrent billing basis. We only accept ACH, check, or wire-transfers on a quarterly or annual basis. All rental and subscription prices are quoted for prepayment on an annual basis. There is a10% premium for quarterly prepayment and a 20% premium for month-by-month prepayment.
Do You Offer Free Trials of Your Software? Yes for 30 days using our BellHawk Online service, but we expect our clients to pay for setting up their private database and website for their trial version of BellHawk and for KnarrTek staff to provide technical support services during the trial.
Do you provide demonstrations of your software with our data? Generally no. Setting up this data is often time consuming, which is why we have the 30 day trial, so prospective clients can setup and test the system with their own data.
Can we use BellHawk to just track operations in one limited area of our facility or do we need to deploy it to the whole plant at the same time? We encourage our clients to start in one area, to solve an immediately pressing problem. Then clients can incrementally expand their use of BellHawk to cover other areas as they gain experience with using the capabilities of BellHawk.
Do I need to purchase a barcode printer to use BellHawk? No BellHawk prints its barcoded documents on an office printer and also uses pre-printed rolls of "license-plate" tracking barcodes to track containers of material.
What if I need BellHawk to print custom barcode labels on demand? We recommend using the BellHawk TAG software, running on a Windows Workstation in each facility, to ensure high speed printing on barcode label printers in that facility.
What if I need to integrate with weighing scales? We recommend using the BellHawk Weighing Scale Interface software running on a Windows PC to interface between a local weighing scale, connected to the PC, and BellHawk running in the Cloud.
Do you support the use of RFID to track materials? Yes, our TAG software can encode combination barcode labels and RFID tags which can then be tracked by our RFID software. Typically we refer such projects to partners who are experts in supplying and setting up the RFID equipment.
How easy is it to configure BellHawk to the specific needs of my organization? BellHawk uses a rules-based engine that incorporates industry best practices. Clients can set their own parameters to these rules (using Excel imports) but cannot change the underlying rules. These rules can, however, be customized by the staff of KnarrTek if needed.
How do I contact an expert at KnarrTek for help with my work-in-process tracking problem? Please click on the [Contact Us] button below and send us your contact information along with a description of the problem you are trying to solve. We will then set up an on-line meeting with one of our experts to see if we can help. If not, then we can often refer you to someone who can.